Q: employment law: my boss 3/7/22 informed me the retail space is closing. Am I entitled to any financial help?
I began the job end of January so I’m not a 3 month employee
Last day of work is proposed 3/31
They sent a separation agreement do I sign in? Or are they protecting themselves?
They offer $282.08 in severance based on my time employed.
I need to know if I can recieve or am eligible for financial assistance despite the less than 3-6 months of employment
In California, all employees are considered at-will unless there is a valid contract to the contrary. At-will employment essentially means that an employer may terminate you for any reason or no reason at all unless it violates anti-discrimination laws. As an at-will employee, you are not entitled to any financial support upon separation unless you do not have a contract with the employer indicating otherwise.
Employers routinely may ask the employees to sign a severance agreement that usually releases all the claims an employee may have against the employer.
Before you sign one, I suggest you consult with an employment law attorney who will examine your situation and explain your options. Most employment law attorneys in California offer free of charge initial consultations, and thereafter may take your case on a contingency basis, meaning you do not have to pay attorney’s fees unless and until there is a positive outcome for you. They may also advance either all or partial costs of litigation.
You can look either on this site in the Find a Lawyer section or go to California Employment Layers Association (www.cela.org), an organization whose members are committed to representing employees’ rights.
Maya L. Serkova
Unfortunately California employees are not entitled to any severance payments, and you can be terminated without recourse for the reason given. You will likely be entitled to Unemployment Insurance benefits administered by the EDD. Signing the severance agreement should not effect your right to receive UI benefits, but be sure not to sign a document saying you are voluntarily resigning as that could create problems with the EDD.
Good luck to you.
California law does not require employers to pay employees severance. You should apply for unemployment.
Before you sign a severance agreement, you should speak with an employment lawyer and make sure you are not giving up more valuable claims such as wage and hour violations or discrimination claims.
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